Category Archives: Ireland

Paddy’s Day through Google Glass

A stereotypical St Patrick’s Day through Google Glass. Call the day Patty’s Day in Ireland and someone will ask you if you want fries and a drink with that burger. It’s Paddy, not Patty!

Aren’t national stereotypes wonderful?

What the video completely fails to show is the bustling crowds, children on their father’s shoulders watching the parades, food stalls, hawkers selling memorabilia and the crush and stress and the “Oy, stop pushing there!” and getting home exhausted. :)

Facebook SMS Spam?

Since early September Facebook has been spamming me by text message. Each message comes from “FACEBOOK”, but I don’t have them in my phone contacts. By ringing them I found out the SMS message came from 32232665, apparently a number they use in many countries. The call never connected so I don’t know if there’s a human at the other end.

The first message read

Over 150 million people have used the Facebook friend finder. Find the people you care about: http://fb.me/….

while the following three messages are like the one pictured above:

There are 9 people you may know on Facebook. Send them friend requests: http://fb.me/…

I was travelling when I received most of the other ones. I’m sure I received at least 1 of them while in Heathrow. I don’t have the Facebook app on my phone, but I had created a test Facebook account. It was many months ago and I had forgotten I added my phone number there to try out their sms integration.

If I had noticed those settings I guessed I wouldn’t be contacted. After all, the account wasn’t under my name and I had used a x+yyyy@gmail.com account to signup so people wouldn’t find it by searching for that my email addresses.

Lastly, any SMS communication to someone in Ireland has to be accompanied by instructions for stopping them. Also go read A Consumer Guide to Dealing with Unsolicited Direct Marketing by the Data Commissioner:

you were given a simple cost-free means of refusing the use of your contact details for direct marketing purposes at the time your details were initially collected, and where you did not initially refuse the use of those details, you are given a similar option at the time of each subsequent communication.

The creepy thing about Facebook is that they have matched that account with my main account. Maybe it’s because I may have logged into it with a browser I used for my main one, or because of the gmail address I used. I get regular emails from them saying, “John, you have more friends on Facebook than you think…” or “Do you know X, Y, Z?” where x, y and z are people on my friend’s list. It’s really, really unsettling, even when I have a notion of how they do it.

So, should I make a complaint to the Irish Data Commissioner? Maybe they can convince Facebook to add STOP instructions to their SMS texts.

Step back into the past on the Irish Mail train

Following on from the time travelling theme in my Back to the Future post comes this documentary about the Irish Mail route from London to Dublin that operated from 1848. The documentary was originally broadcast in 1954. It has this lovely old fashioned feel to it.

It’s amazing that it took up to 2 days to travel between those cities but that was quick before regular flights were a reality.

Also be sure to read about the Chester and Holyhead Railway and this page about tunnel crossings across the Irish Sea. Who knew Irish trains didn’t use standard guage tracks eh? Whose bright idea was that then?

One for Irish Football Fans

Two podcasts that Irish football fans will enjoy:

  • We wuz robbed!
    The fable of the Irish 1965 World Cup campaign games against Spain. A story of brilliance, luck and dodgy decisions as told by Dermot Corrigan.
    Ireland played three games against Spain in the run-up to the 1966 World Cup.

  • We’ve got a game to win
    In 1988 the Republic of Ireland football squad qualified for their first major international championship.

Cork Flooded Again

It’s hard to take in the extent of the damage done by the flooding in Cork last night. Clonakilty, Douglas, Blackpool, Meadowbrook in Glanmire, Ballyvolane and elsewhere flooded. We were woken around 1am last night by the loudest thunder I ever remember hearing. The storm passed right over Blarney but I think the town escaped the worst of it.

Douglas Flooded
Meadowbrook Estate, Riverstown
Doors collapse at Douglas Shopping Centre

Check #corkfloods on Twitter for further updates.

YOLO NASA you know?

YOLO, an acronym that I’ve only ever heard on Reddit, stands for “You Only Live Once”. Does anyone actually use it in real life?

Where I've actually heard YOLO
Where I’ve actually heard YOLO (via)

If you’re talking to some young hip Irish person try saying NASA to them. That’s YOLO in Irish!

Nil Ach Saol Amhain!

They’ll really know what you’re talking about. Honest. Everyone’s saying it over here.*

* No not really. Thanks BreakfastNT for the translation!